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    ABSTRACT: Diagnosis of microcalcifications (MCs) is challenged by the presence of dense breast parenchyma, resulting in low specificity values and thus in unnecessary biopsies. The current study investigates whether texture properties of the tissue surrounding MCs can contribute to breast cancer diagnosis. A case sample of 100 biopsy-proved MC clusters (46 benign, 54 malignant) from 85 dense mammographic images, included in the Digital Database for Screening Mammography, was analysed. Regions of interest (ROIs) containing the MCs were pre-processed using a wavelet-based contrast enhancement method, followed by local thresholding to segment MCs; the segmented MCs were excluded from original image ROIs, and the remaining area (surrounding tissue) was subjected to texture analysis. Four categories of textural features (first order statistics, co-occurrence matrices features, run length matrices features and Laws' texture energy measures) were extracted from the surrounding tissue. The ability of each feature category in discriminating malignant from benign tissue was investigated using a k-nearest neighbour (kNN) classifier. An additional classification scheme was performed by combining classification outputs of three textural feature categories (the most discriminating ones) with a majority voting rule. Receiver operating characteristic (ROC) analysis was conducted for classifier performance evaluation of the individual textural feature categories and of the combined classification scheme. The best performance was achieved by the combined classification scheme yielding an area under the ROC curve (A(z)) of 0.96 (sensitivity 94.4%, specificity 80.0%). Texture analysis of tissue surrounding MCs shows promising results in computer-aided diagnosis of breast cancer and may contribute to the reduction of unnecessary biopsies.
    The British journal of radiology 09/2007; 80(956):648-56. DOI:10.1259/bjr/30415751 · 1.53 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Breast cancer continues to be a significant public health problem in the world. Approximately, 182,000 new cases of breast cancer are diagnosed and 46,000 women die of breast cancer each year in the United States. Even more disturbing is the fact that one out of eight women in US will develop breast cancer at some point during her lifetime. Primary prevention seems impossible since the causes of this disease still remain unknown. Early detection is the key to improving breast cancer prognosis. Mammography is one of the reliable methods for early detection of breast carcinomas. There are some limitations of human observers, and it is difficult for radiologists to provide both accurate and uniform evaluation for the enormous number of mammograms generated in widespread screening. The presence of microcalcification clusters (MCCs) is an important sign for the detection of early breast carcinoma. An early sign of 30–50% of breast cancer detected mammographically is the appearance of clusters of fine, granular microcalcification, and 60–80% of breast carcinomas reveal MCCs upon histological examinations. The high correlation between the appearance of the microcalcification clusters and the diseases show that the CAD (computer aided diagnosis) systems for automated detection/classification of MCCs will be very useful and helpful for breast cancer control. In this survey paper, we summarize and compare the methods used in various stages of the computer-aided detection systems (CAD). In particular, the enhancement and segmentation algorithms, mammographic features, classifiers and their performances are studied and compared. Remaining challenges and future research directions are also discussed.
    Pattern Recognition 12/2003; 36(12-36):2967-2991. DOI:10.1016/S0031-3203(03)00192-4 · 2.58 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Detection and characterization of microcalcification clusters in mammograms is vital in daily clinical practice. The scope of this work is to present a novel computer-based automated method for the characterization of microcalcification clusters in digitized mammograms. The proposed method has been implemented in three stages: (a) the cluster detection stage to identify clusters of microcalcifications, (b) the feature extraction stage to compute the important features of each cluster and (c) the classification stage, which provides with the final characterization. In the classification stage, a rule-based system, an artificial neural network (ANN) and a support vector machine (SVM) have been implemented and evaluated using receiver operating characteristic (ROC) analysis. The proposed method was evaluated using the Nijmegen and Mammographic Image Analysis Society (MIAS) mammographic databases. The original feature set was enhanced by the addition of four rule-based features. In the case of Nijmegen dataset, the performance of the SVM was Az=0.79 and 0.77 for the original and enhanced feature set, respectively, while for the MIAS dataset the corresponding characterization scores were Az=0.81 and 0.80. Utilizing neural network classification methodology, the corresponding performance for the Nijmegen dataset was Az=0.70 and 0.76 while for the MIAS dataset it was Az=0.73 and 0.78. Although the obtained high classification performance can be successfully applied to microcalcification clusters characterization, further studies must be carried out for the clinical evaluation of the system using larger datasets. The use of additional features originating either from the image itself (such as cluster location and orientation) or from the patient data may further improve the diagnostic value of the system.
    Artificial Intelligence in Medicine 06/2005; 34:141-150. DOI:10.1016/j.artmed.2004.10.001 · 1.36 Impact Factor